Remote Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic for Students with Learning Disabilities: Challenges and Opportunities [PDF]

Egija Laganovska
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: The situation in general education in Latvia has changed since the spring semester of 2020. On the 13th of March 2020 Latvia temporarily introduced remote training at all stages of education. The government regularly monitored the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the number of infections, so restrictions in different areas have changed frequently. Educational institutions for students of 1st–12th grade (ages 6–17) in the 2020/2021 school year worked under fluctuating circumstances, and most of the learning process took place remotely. For most of the 2020/2021 school year, teaching and learning were thus largely based on technology and online teaching. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on various aspects of life, such as the economy, education, and social life. This time has led to challenges as well as opportunities for students, teachers, and parents. It has also affected the learning process for students with learning disabilities.
For grades 1–12, the Individualised Education Plan (IEP) was developed in Latvia for students with learning disabilities. The IEP had to be adapted to the broader situation, and to work towards its betterment special education teachers participated in the preparation and organisation of the IEP.
The aim of this study is to explore the opinions of special education teachers and to examine what support measures are provided for students with learning disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the challenges (barriers, obstacles) and what are the opportunities (benefits) of remote learning? Our research methods involved a literature analysis, a survey of special education teachers from Latvia, and a data collection effort and analysis. The study was conducted by distributing questionnaires via Google Forms. During this research, 70 special education teachers were surveyed.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning, special educational teacher, students with learning disabilities.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3